You’ve heard that “a penny saved is a penny earned,” right? That old Ben Franklinism goes to the heart of the matter about the value of saving and investing.
To put that wisdom in modern terms, a web developer named Kyle Conroy has put together a table that shows what would happen if someone bought Apple stock — instead of Apple gizmos — at various points in the company’s history.
Here are two of the more extreme examples:
– If you used $5,700 to buy Apple stock instead of an Apple PowerBook G3 250 in 1997, you’d be sitting on more than $330,000 today.
– If you used $299 to buy Apple stock instead of an Apple iPod 3G in 2003, you’d have more than $11,000 today.
Now, this is not Clark advocating you to buy individual stocks. That’s not his game. He prefers that you buy the entire spectrum of capitalism via a total-stock market index fund or an exchange-traded fund.
Instead, he simply wants to beat you over the head (yet again) with another message about how money that’s invested can grow over time.
But even if you’re too frightened to invest, remember this: It’s never in life what you make, it’s what you don’t spend.
Need help selecting low-cost investments? See Clark’s guide.